Log in
Show password
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
New member
Sign up for FREE
New customer
Discover our services
Dynamic quotes 
News: Latest News
Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesBusiness LeadersFinance Pro.CalendarSectors 
All NewsEconomyCurrencies & ForexEconomic EventsCryptocurrenciesCybersecurityPress Releases

Citi blocked PDVSA attempt to pay Siemens, executive says at trial

09/22/2021 | 08:06pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: The logo for Citibank is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc blocked an attempt by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA to make debt payments to a Siemens unit, a Citi executive testified on Wednesday in a U.S. trial over whether PDVSA is liable for the payments. 

In a bench trial that began on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, PDVSA is contending that U.S. sanctions implemented in August 2017 rendered payment impossible.

The dispute stems from a January 2017 promissory note that cash-strapped PDVSA issued to oilfield equipment provider Dresser-Rand for $120 million, plus interest. PDVSA made the first two interest payments for about $4 million, but defaulted on a $1.9 million payment due in October 2017.

In May 2020, U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a $149.5 million judgment in Dresser-Rand's favor.

On Tuesday, Raymond Romano, Citi's chief administration officer for Latin America, testified that Citi blocked PDVSA's wire attempt because "it did not meet our requirements for processing."

The case shows how the sanctions - intended to pressure Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to restore democracy - have had far-reaching consequences for Western companies that do business with PDVSA.

Maduro calls the sanctions "criminal" and blames them for the country's economic crisis.

In a Sept. 25, 2017 email submitted as evidence, a Citi employee told Dresser-Rand that the bank restricted Venezuela and PDVSA activities because of the sanctions, but that it would consider processing pre-approved transactions.

Romano said Dresser-Rand did not seek pre-approval.

In testimony that could bolster Dresser-Rand's argument that PDVSA had other ways to make the payment, he said that Citi implemented the PDVSA-related restrictions before the August 2017 sanctions based on its own internal risk policies.

Stephanie Rice, a former sanctions compliance officer at various banks who was called by Dresser-Rand as an expert witness, said the payment was not in violation of sanctions and other banks may have processed it. 

(Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York; Editing by Noeleen Walder and Richard Pullin)

By Luc Cohen

© Reuters 2021
Latest news "Economy & Forex"
03:26pCONTROLADORA VUELA COMPAÑÍA DE AVIACIÓN B DE C : Volaris in El Salvador set to accept bitcoin
03:25pCredit suisse - credit suisse securities (europe) ltd. (cssel) has pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate us federal wire fraud statute
03:24pCredit suisse-under terms of dpa, co will continue its compliance enhancement and remediation efforts, report to doj on those efforts for three years
03:24pCredit suisse- regrets that initially failed to ensure all relevant information was readily available &hence provided to regulator in complete manner
03:23pCredit suisse-in terms of loan financing for mozambique,co entered into 3 year dpa with u.s. doj,consented to enter of cease and desist order by sec
03:23pCredit suisse group ag - expects to take usd 230 mln in charges in q3 2021
03:23pCredit suisse group ag - will pay a penalty of about usd 200 mln, and bank has also agreed with fca to forgive usd 200 mln of debt owed by mozambique
03:22pCredit suisse-in respect of deals with mozambique between 2013 &2016, its uk operations failed to conduct its business with due skill,care&diligence
03:21pOil remains near multi-year highs as energy crunch persists
03:21pCredit suisse group ag - condemns any unjustified observations and has already taken decisive steps to strengthen its relevant governance and processes
Latest news "Economy & Forex"